Many state lawmakers agree with Gov. Kathy Hochul on her decision to commit $1 billion to the city for the migrant crisis.
The funding promise comes as Mayor Eric Adams has significantly cut budgets across city agencies, citing the costs of taking care of asylum seekers.
Adams said on Tuesday he is grateful for the state’s infusion of money, but added that he is planning for the future.
“We didn’t do cuts, we did PEGs – Program to Eliminate the Gap,” Adams said when asked about possibly being able to return funding to agencies that have seen cuts amid the migrant crisis.
Adams quickly refuted the idea that getting state funding is going to be able to offset the costs of arriving asylum seekers.
“I don’t know if people are aware of what we said is the financial impact of the city, 4.3 billion, $4.3 billion. So because we are getting a billion from the state which is coming in layers from the state, do we just go back and spend wildly? No,” Adams said.
Adams’ fiscally conservative stance comes as the city is expected to see an increase of asylum seekers this week as Texas resumes busing migrants to the city.
So far the city says it has spent $817 million on migrants and is set to spend more than $4 billion dollars by next year.
Next week, Title 42 – a pandemic-era immigration restriction is expected to expire – and lead to a surge of crossings at the southern border.
“We have to really acknowledge the turbulent forecast that’s in the future,” Adams said.
Separately, Adams expressed disappointment at Albany not being able to agree on a housing plan.
The city has been facing an affordable housing crisis. Adams has set an ambitious goal of 500,000 new housing units in the city over the next decade and was hoping to get aid from the state.
Adams was pushing to get a tax breakknown as 421-a renewed. The tax break incentivized developers to include affordable units in their housing projects. The program expired last year.
“In order to build, we have to put in the infrastructure to build,” Adams said. “If we leave without any real plans with how we’re going to build our way out of this affordable housing crisis, it would be a big mistake on my part.”
A recently released report shows that 50% of New York City households couldn’t afford housing and that a person needs $100,000 to afford to live in the city.